Famous Jews in the Army. Jewish War Heroes from 1775.

The following is an A to Z Jewish War Heroes Directory.

  1. 1775 – 1783 The American Revolutionary War
  2. 1792 – 1802 French Revolutionary Wars
  3. 1812 - 1815 War of 1812
  4. 1830 - July Revolution in France
  5. 1846 - 1848 Mexican-American War
  6. 1853 - 1856 War (French, Ottoman, and British against Russian Empire)
  7. 1861 - 1865 American Civil War
  8. 1899 - 1902 Second Anglo-Boer War
  9. 1904 - 1905 Russian Japanese war
  10. 1914 - 1918 World War I
  11. 1939 - 1945 World War II
  12. 1948, May - 1949 June, 20 Israeli Arab War
  13. 1950 and after

1775–1783 The American Revolutionary War
  1. Mordecai Sheftall was a leader in the Revolutionary movement against the British in Georgia
  2. Solomon Bush was an officer in the Pennsylvania militia, 1777-87
  3. Haym Salomon, (American Revolution), Sons of Liberty, Financier
  4. Francis Salvador, (American Revolution),Paul Revere of the South
  5. Jonas Phillips (1736-1803), In 1778 he joined the Revolutionary army, serving in the Philadelphia Militia under Colonel Bradford.
  6. David Nudez Cardozo
  7. NONES, Benjamin 1757–1826. US soldier. Nones was born in Bordeaux, France, and came to the United States during the revolutionary period. He served as an aide to General Washington, with the rank of major, and was cited for bravery in battle. After independence, he settled in Philadelphia and became a leader of the local Jewish community. He supported the abolitionist movement and voluntarily freed his own slaves. [Who’s Who in Jewish History, 1974]

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1792–1802 French Revolutionary Wars

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1812-1815 War of 1812
  1. Judah Touro, (War of 1812), civilian volunteer in American Army, Philanthropist
  2. Jean Lafitte, Buccaneer leader who aided ???????????Jackson's defeat of British in the Battle of New Orleans War of 1812.
  3. Uriah Phillips Levy ( April 22 , 1792 - March 26 , 1862 ) was the first Jewish Commodore of the United States Navy and a veteran of the War of 1812. First Jewish Chapel at the United States Naval Academy named for him.
  4. John Ordroneaux a naval commander, sank five British ships in one battle and was raised to the rank of commodore. In 1814, at the Battle of Fort McHenry,there were 30 Jews in the garrison.
  5. Captain Mordecai Myers 13th Pennsylvania Infantry.
  6. Levi Myers Harby captain. Elso was involved in the Seminole Indian War in Florida in 1828.

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1830 July Revolution in France

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1846-1848 Mexican-American War
  1. Alfred Mordecai(1804 -1887) major.Joined the North in the Civl War in 1861.
  2. Dr David Camden DeLeon
  3. Leon Dyer, Colonel

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1853 - 1856 War (French, Ottoman, and British against Russian Empire)
The Siege of Sevastopol lasted from September 1854 until September 1855 (349 days), during the Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856). The allies (French, Ottoman, and British) landed at Eupatoria on 14 September 1854, intending to make a triumphal march to Sevastopol, the capital of the Crimea, Russian Empire with 50,000 men.
During the defense of Sevastopol was killed about five hundred Jewish soldiers.
Monument was built in 1864 and it was written on it in Hebrew and Russian: "Memory of Jewish soldiers who died for their country in the defense of Sevastopol during the war of 1854-1855".
see photo of the monument Russia's only monument to the Jews for their bravery and service to the Russian Motherland

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1861-1865 American Civil War
There were about 150,000 Jews in the country and about 8.500
of them took part in the war.
North army had:
Generals - 8
Colonels - 21
Lieutenant colonel - 9
Majors - 40
Captains - 205
Lieutenants - 325
Adjutants - 48
Surgeons - 25
Only New York had 2,000 volunteers.
General Oliver O. Howard wrote: "that there were no braver and patriotic men to be found then those of Hebrew descent" [Seymour Brody., 1995]

    Six Jews are recognized by the Jewish War Veterans of America as earning the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Civil War.

    (see Official Website of CMOHS.org: The Congressional Medal of Honor Society ).

  1. COHN, ABRAHAM Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 6th New Hampshire Infantry Places and dates: At Wilderness, Virginia, 6 May 1864; At the mine, Petersburg, Virginia, 30 July, 1864 Birth: Prussia Date of issue: 24 August, 1865

  2. BENJAMIN LEVY Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 40th New York Infantry Place and date: Glendale, Virginia, 30 June, 1862 Date of issue: 1 March, 1865

  3. LEOPOLD KARPELES Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, Massachusetts Infantry Place and date: Wilderness, Virginia, 6 May, 1864 Birth: Hungary Date of issue: 30 April, 1870

  4. DAVID ORBANSKY Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 58th Ohio Infantry Places and dates: At Shiloh, Tennessee, Vicksburg, Mississippi, etc. 1862 and 1863 Birth: Prussia Date of issue: 2 August, 1879

  5. HENRY HELLER Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 66th Ohio Infantry Place and date: Chancellorsville, Virginia, 2 May, 1863 Entered Service at: Urbana, Ohio Date of issue: 29 July, 1892

  6. GAUSE, ISAAC Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E, 2nd Ohio Cavalry Place and date: Near Berryville, Virginia, 13 September, 1864 Birth: Trumbull County, Ohio Date of issue: 19 September, 1864

On March 15, 1896, seventy-eight Jewish Civil War veterans of the Union armies gathered and met in New York City's Lexington Opera House.

From: Jewish Heroes and Heroines of America, © 1996, written by Seymour "Sy" Brody of Delray Beach, Florida, illustrated by Art Seiden of Woodmere, New York, and published by Lifetime Books, Inc., Hollywood, FL.

  • Edward S. Salomon, Brigadier General(Civil War)
  • Louis Leon, North Carolina Tar Heel Confederate Army soldier.
  • Moses Jacob Ezekiel, Confederate Army soldier
  • Isaac J. Levy, Confederate soldier of the 46th Virginia Infantry.
  • Simon Suhler, (Civil War), (American Indian wars), Medal of Honor recipient.
  • Phoebe Yates Levy Pember (August 18, 1823 - March 4, 1913) a nurse and female administrator of Chimborazo Hospital at Richmond, Virginia during the American Civil War
  • Judah Philip Benjamin (August 6, 1811 – May 6, 1884) - he was the first Attorney General of the Confederacy on February 25, 1861.
    About Jewish Confederates read more in the book: " The Jewish Confederates" by Robert N. Rosen., 2000 University of South Carolina.
    confederate military cemetery
    wars with Indians
  • Charles Gardner(Simon Shuster) Congressional Medal of Honor for fight with Apaches in Arizona 1866
  • George Geiger. Congressional Medal of Honor for Indian Campaign. Medal was issued on October 5, 1878
  • Samuel Marguiles(Samuel Gross) was awarded Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery.
    Spanish American war April 21, 1898 – August 1898
    About 5,000 Jews served in this war. (30 Jewish Army officers and 20 navy officers, 29 were killed)
  • corporal Ben Prager received the Silver Star medal for bravery.
  • Sergeant Maurice Joost of the First California Volunteers, was the first man to fall in the attack on Manila. [Seymour Brody]

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    1899-1902 Second Anglo-Boer War

    Jews fought on both sides during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Some of the most notable fights during the three years' Boer war — such as the Gun Hill incident before the Siege of LadysmithSiege of Ladysmith The Siege of Ladysmith was a protracted engagement in the Second Boer War, taking place between 30 October 1899 and 28 February 1900 at Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, Colony of Natal.... — involved Jewish soldiers like Major Karri Davies. Nearly 2,800 Jews fought on the BritishUnited Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom , the UK or Britain,is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe.... side and the London Spectator counted that 125 were killed. [Jewish Encyclopedia]

    Around 300 Jews served among the Boers during the second Boer War and were known as Boerjode: those who had citizenship rights were conscripted along with other burghers ("citizens"), but there were also a number of volunteers. Jews fought under the Boers' Vierkleur ("four colored") flag in many of the major battles and engagements and during the guerilla phase of the war, and a dozen are known to have died. Around 80 were captured and held in British POW camps in South Africa. Some were sent as far afield as St. Helena.

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    1904 - 1905 Russian Japanese war

    The number of Jews at the front was disproportionately large—it amounted to some thirty thousand, owing to the fact that, in accordance with the usual military regulations, the Jewish recruits from the Western governments were generally despatched to Siberia, so that, at the very outset, they were near the theatre of military operations. Disproportionately large was also the number of Jewish physicians in the reserves. Out of the thirty physicians who were mobilized in Kiev twenty-six were Jews. In Odessa, the Jews furnished twenty-one physicians out of thirty. [Dubnov THE JEWS IN RUSSIA AND POLAND. V3 p 95.]
    Discrimination of Jews in the Russian army during military service before 1917
    Joseph Trumpeldor [November 21, 1880 – March 1, 1920]
    During the Russo-Japanese War, he participated in the siege of Port Arthur, where he lost his left arm to shrapnel. Trumpeldor subsequently received four decorations for bravery including the Cross of St. George, which made him the most decorated Jewish soldier in Russia. In 1906 he became the first Jew in the army to receive an officer's commission.

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    1914 - 1918 World War I

    When the United States declared war against Germany in April 1917, Jews represented only 3.27 % of the total population, yet they made up 5.73% of the country armed forces. From more than 250,000 Jews served approximately 3,500 Jews were killed.
    [Seymour Brody., 1995]

    1. Sergeant Benjamin Kaufman – Congressional Medal of Honour and 9 foreign government awards for bravery.
    2. Sergeant Sam Dreben – Distinguished Service Cross, the Croix de Guerre, Militaire medal.
    3. Captain Elkan Voorsanger - Purple Heat, Croix de Guerre.
    4. Sergeant William Sawelson - Congressional Medal of Honour
    5. Sergeant Sidney G. Gumpertz - Congressional Medal of Honour.
    6. Corporal Louis Abend - Croix de Guerre
    7. Sergeant Benjamin Shapiro - Croix de Guerre
    8. Private Abraham Krotoshinsky
    9. Major General Milton J. Foremen - Distinguished Service Cross for bravery.
    10. Colonel Abel Davis
    11. Lieutenant Benjamin B. Prager.
      see also:
      The Jewish Legion (1915-1918) Military formation of Jewish volunteers in World War I, who fought in the British Army for the liberation of Eretz Yisrael from Turkish rule

  • The 12,000 German Jews who Died for their Fatherland in World War I. (DIE JUDISCHEN GEFALLENEN)
    Among these names were about 270 officers and 155 medical officers and 30 pilots, 30 Jewish chaplains served with honor and distinction in the German army during World War I.
    1."German Jews as Soldiers in the 1914/1918 War," by Dr. Jacob Segall, and Prof. Dr. Heinrich Silbergleit; Philo-Verlag G. m. b. H., Berlin 1922.
    2. "Jews in the Army" by Otto Arnim (Alfred Roth); Deutscher Verlag Munich 1922.
    3. "Jewish Fliers in the World War" by Dr. Felix A. Theilhaber; “The Shield,” Berlin 1924
    4. "Die Judischen Gefallenen", The Jewish Roll of Honor, was published by The Reich Association of Jewish Combat Veterans in 1932, under the direction of Dr. Leo Lowenstein, Captain of the Reserves, Retired.
    1. Arthur Mayer 1914 Iron Cross, Second class.
    2. Berthold Guthmann was born in 1893 and volunteered for military service in WWI, as did his two brothers (one of whom was killed at Verdun). He became observer and gunner on military aircrafts and was awarded the Iron Cross (Second Class), the Tapferkeitsmedaille (Medal for Bravery), and the Verwundetenabzeichen (equivalent to the Purple Heart).
    3. Friedrich Rüdenberg was awarded the Iron Cross in mid-1917. Immigrated to Palestine in 1936.
    4. Wilhelm Frankl is the most well known German Jewish fighter pilot of World War I. He received the Pour-le-mérite.
    5. Fritz Beckhardt received the Iron Cross (First Class), the House Order of Hohenzollern with Swords, the Hessian Medal of Bravery, the Hessian Order of Ernst Ludwig, the aviator's badge, a silver cup for bravery, and various badges for accomplishments and wounds. After Germany lost the war, Beckhardt refused to deliver his plane over to the enemy and instead flew it to Switzerland.

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    1939 - 1945 World War II

    During World War II, hundreds of Jewish soldiers and officers fought for the Finnish army, which was part of Nazi Germany. Finland refused to help the Nazis in the so-called "resolving the Jewish question" without becoming deprived of their Jewish citizens of rights or freedoms. As citizens of Finland, the Jews fulfilled their military duty. Three Finnish Jews were awarded the German Iron Cross for their courage and bravery on the battlefield. These were officers Captain Solomon Klass and Major Leo Skurnik and a Jewish girl, Dina Polyakoff, a nurse from the women's paramilitary organization Lotta Svärd. All three Jews refused to accept German awards

    1. Maurice Rose, Major General, (World War II) Negotiated the unconditional surrender of the Germans in Tunisia, Commanded 3rd Armored Division: the first division to cross the German border and the first to breach the Siegfried line, killed in combat.
    2. Mark Wayne Clark, Major General, commander of Fifth U.S. Army World War II
    3. John B. Oakes, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, World War II; Bronze Star, member of O.S.S. Office of Strategic Services; also Croix de Guerre, Medaille de Reconnaissance (France), and Order of the British Empire
    4. Robert Rosenthal, lieutenant colonel, USAF in World War II.
    5. Sergeant Meyer Levin was killed in 25. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Silver Star, Oak leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart and Certificate of Merit.
    6. Alexander Pechersky (22 February 1909 – 19 January 1990) He was the organizer and the leader, of the most successful uprising and mass-escape of Jews from a Nazi extermination camp during World War II;
      which occurred at the Sobibor extermination camp on 14 October 1943. At that time he had the rank of lieutenant quartermaster (class II) in the Soviet army.
      In 2013, Alexander Pechersky was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.
      In January 2016, he was posthumously awarded the Russian Order of Courage

    Additional information about Second World War

    During the Second World Wars Jews played an active part that exceeds the proportion to their numbers in the general populations. Many will know the Jewish Brigade (1944-46), the 51st (mainly Jewish Palestinians) Middle East Commando, the SIG (Special Interrogation Group) Commando in North Africa, the Jewish members of SOE, and other Jewish groups of World War Two.

    Below some information from the book “Striking Back: A Jewish Commando's War Against the Nazis” by Peter Masters, 1997
    No 51 Middle East (Jewish) Commandos - consisting of about 87 German speaking Palestinian Jews - was to be formed into "a Special German Group as a sub-unit of M E Commandos with the cover name 'Special Interrogation Group', to be used for infiltration behind the German lines in the Western Desert, under 8th Army. 19 of the 87 died.
    Below some names:
    Dov Cohen, Bernard Lowenthal (3i) and Israel Carmi (who was later an officer in the Jewish Brigade and the Israeli Army (MT). Karl Kahane/Cahanna (3a Dolph Zeintner and Philip Kogel, Maurice "Monju" Tiefenbrunner a.k.a. Tiffen, Ariyeh Shai a.k.a. aka Sheinik/Sheikin, Rosenzweig, Corporal Drory, Goldstein and Rohr, Isaac "Harry" Levy, Peter Gottlieb, Vladimir Peniakoff and many others.

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    1948, May - 1949 June, 20 Israeli Arab War
    Name of the hero Rank Place of action Date Details
    Yair Racheli Private Near Shefa-'Amr 19 Jan 1948 Received the medal for destroying an enemy position
    Emmanuel Landau Private Kiryat Motzkin 17 Mar 1948 Received the medal for capturing an enemy supply truck
    Abraham Avigdorov Private Kiryat Motzkin 17 Mar 1948 Received the medal for destroying two enemy Bren machine gun positions
    Zerubavel Horowitz Second Lieutenant Road to Jerusalem 27 Mar 1948 Received the medal for covering the retreat of his comrades from an enemy attack
    Yizhar Armoni Private Nabi Yusha 20 Apr 1948 Received the medal for covering the retreat of his comrades and evacuation of wounded soldiers
    Emil Brig Sergeant Kibbutz Gesher area 14 May 1948 Received the medal for blowing a bridge and thus preventing the enemy from advancing during
    Zvi Zibel Airman Ben Shemen 25 Jun 1948 Received the medal for delivering supplies to the besieged Ben Shemen while under heavy enemy fire
    Ben-Zion Leitner Private First Class Iraq Suwaydan 19 Oct 1948 Received the medal for destroying enemy bunkers during the Battles of the Separation Corridor
    Ron Feller Sergeant Karatiyya 19 Jul 1948 Received the medal for destroying an enemy tank in the Battle of Karatiyya
    Yohai Ben-Nun Captain Mediterranean Sea 22 Oct 1948 Received the medal for sinking the Egyptian Navy flagship
    Siman-Tov Ganeh Private Iraq Suwaydan 9 Nov 1948 Received the medal for covering the retreat of his comrades
    Arieh Atzmoni Master Sergeant Rafah 4 Nov 1948 Received the medal for rescuing a cannon from enemy hands

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    1950 and after

    Jewish Heroes of the Korean War
    Melvin Garten
    Joseph I. Gurfein
    Abraham Geller
  • Tibor Rubin, (Korea) Medal of Honor for actions in battle and in Chinese POW camp.
    Jewish Vietnam War Heroes
    Colonel Jack H. Jacobs: Medal of Honor
    Major General Stanley H. Hyman
    Major General Robert B. Solomon.
    Stewart S. Burr, private first class, was killed. Silver Star Medal.
    Jewish Vietnam War Heroes from Museum in Washington, D.C.
      Roger Steven Briskin, corporal Fred Zedeck, captain Joseph Ira Goldstein, lieutenant
    1. Joseph Liebgott, served in Easy Company, 506th Battalion, 101st Airborne Division in the Second World War, Technician (T/5)
    2. Robert Magnus, Former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Retired July 17, 2008
    3. Sam Dreben, served in the in the United States Army in the Philippines, Panama Canal Zone the Pancho Villa Expedition, and World War I, also fought in Honduras Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the Mexican revolution. Noted for his prowess with machine guns.
    4. Edward Ellsberg, finished first in his class at the United States Naval Academy (1914), ultimately rose to rank of Rear Admiral.
    5. Jack H. Jacobs, Colonel (United States) Medal of Honor recipient
    6. David "Mickey" Marcus, (World War II), Army lieutenant colonel, West Point graduate, Divisional Judge Advocate, Division Commander, attended the Big Five meetings, volunteered to join D-Day airborne assault without formal training. Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star, and British decorations. Volunteered to Israeli Army to defend against Transjordan Arab Legion. Became first Israeli Brigadier General, and served as Commander of Jerusalem front.
    7. Mark Polansky, NASA, USAF (Ret.), Space Shuttle Commander
    8. Hyman Rickover, United States Navy Admiral, Father of the Nuclear Navy.
    9. Marvin A. Sibulkin, Sergeant Major U.S. Army 1958-1983; Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (9th Inf Div), Bronze Star 1st Oak Leaf Cluster (Vietnam), Defense Meritorious Service Medal; 3 Army Commendation Medals.
    10. Michael Yury Tarlavsky, Captain, US Army 5th Special Forces Group; Killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom
    11. Norton A. Schwartz, 1973 graduate of the "Air Force Academy", 19th Air Force Chief of Staff

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    Jews War heroes
    1. Lieutenant General Jack Farj Rafael "J. F. R." Jacob PVSM (1924 – 13 January 2016),
      was an Indian Army officer. He was best known for the role he played in the creation of Bangladesh in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971
      Born in 1924 in Calcutta, British India, Jacob’s family hailed from a long line of Baghdadi Jews who moved to India from Iraq in the middle of the 18th century.

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    Martin Gilbert estimates that 6,000 Jews volunteered to fight for the Union; and an additional 1,200 fought for the Confederacy. Roughly 250,000 Jews fought for the United States in World War I, another 550,000 in World War II. See Gilbert, Atlas of Jewish History (New York 1976).

    Jews in the British Military

    Sir Edward Brampton (Duarte Brandão came from the Jewish community of Portugal, Born in about 1440 ),

    godson of King Edward IV, a knight and commander during the War of the Roses[The first of the Tudors: a study of Henry VII and his reign (Taylor & Francis, 1981) by Michael Van Cleave Alexander, page 97]

    Peter Geore Davis,

    DSC, Royal Marine, founder of Modern SBS. Lieutenant Colonel Peter George "Pug" Davis DSC (9 December 1923 — 18 August 2011) was an officer in the Royal Marines. He was considered a 'founding father' of the Special Boat Service.

    Frank Alexander de Pass (26 April 1887 – 25 November 1914),

    World War I British Indian Army Victoria Cross recipient. He was the first person of the Jewish faith and the first officer of the Indian Army to receive the VC during World War I.

    Albert Goldsmid,

    JewishEncyclopedia.com - Major-general in the British army; born in 1794; died Jan. 6, 1861; son of Benjamin Goldsmid. He entered the army in 1811 as cornet in the 12th Light Dragoons, and the following year went on active duty in Spain, where he continued to serve until the close of the war in 1814. He was present at the cavalry affairs of Castrajon, Quintare de Puerta, and Monasterio, and at the battles of Salamanca, Vittoria, Nivelle, and Nive, and was awarded the silver medal and four clasps. He served also during the campaign of 1815, and was present at Waterloo. In June, 1826, he retired on half-pay with the rank of major, but was gazetted lieutenant-colonel Nov. 23, 1841; colonel June 20, 1854; and major-general Oct. 26, 1858.

    Thomas William Gould VC (28 December 1914 – 6 December 2001)

    was a Jewish and an English recipient of the Royal NavyVictoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

    John Patrick Kenneally, World War II British Army Victoria Cross recipient (Jewish father)
    Issy Smith (Born Ishroulch Shmeilowitz c.18 September 1890 – 11 September 1940), World War I British Army Victoria Cross recipient
    Peter Stevens,

    World War II bomber pilot/POW and recipient of the Military Cross for numerous escape activities; a German-Jewish refugee living in London at the outbreak of hostilities; born Georg Franz HEIN in Hanover; committed identity theft in order to join the RAF; was naturalized a British citizen in 1946

    Roland Robert Stanford Tuck, Wing Commander DSO, DFC and Two Bars, AFC (1916-1987), RAF fighter pilot, Battle of Britain and Battle of France (27 air-to-air kills), English Electric Canberra test pilot
    Jack White (born Jacob Weiss 23 December 1896 – 27 November 1949), World War I British Army Victoria Cross recipient[4]
    Jewish Soldiers
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  • "Jewish Heroes Of America", by Seymour Brody., 1995
    Please send me email with famous Jewish Soldiers that are not in our list, and I will add it to Jewish Soldiers directory.(this page)

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